Grappling With Student Growth, Katy Surveys Parents On Bus Transportation

Katy district leaders are considering transportation changes to meet growing student enrollment and also to overcome a bus driver shortage.

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About half of the 70,000-plus students in the Katy Independent School use public school buses to get to campus and back home.

That adds up to a lot of miles, according to assistant superintendent Mike Robinson.

“Last year we traveled about 5.4 million miles which for reference is about 11 round trips to the moon,” he said.

Robinson said it’s not easy keeping up with growth, which is about 3,000 new students a year.

That would mean about 10-12 new bus routes a year.

But it’s not as simple as adding routes, because there’s another challenge.

“It’s all about the drivers.  It’s the lack of drivers –the driver shortage. We’re not alone in that. It’s an issue regionally, it’s an issue nationally,” said Tom Gunnell, chief operations officer for Katy ISD.

He said they are looking at other solutions, like changing some school start times.

But first, they want community input.  

“We realize that any modification that we make to transportation regarding either distances or schedule can disrupt the community and the family, and we’re sensitive to that,” Gunnell said.

Parents and community members can fill out a transportation survey online here.

It will be open until January 21.

After it closes, district leaders will use the results to make recommendations to the Katy school board in February or March.



Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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